- Article by Online Editor
- Photography by Trevor Mein
- Architect Kerstin Thompson Architects
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The new flagship store for Aesop, at 87 Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD, has the feel of a gentleman’s private salon: something between his study, his bathroom, and his dressing room.
The masculine aesthetic of the interior draws inspiration from other men’s retailers along Collins Street, such as Harrolds, as well as the main building within which the shop sits: the Athanaeum Club, one of the country’s oldest gentlemen’s clubs. The material palette encompasses mirrors along the vanity unit, glass and sheet metals – in particular copper, which references the existing copper shopfront – and blackened steel.
Inside, shoppers feel as if they have been welcomed into somebody’s private space, and given the opportunity to peruse their personal effects. The testing station is dressed like a gentleman’s vanity unit, with his personal grooming effects on the bench. A window seat and armchair offer resting places, while a leather curtain between the front and back of house creates a feeling of intimacy – and hints at a secret world hidden beyond. Products are displayed as curios within museum-like cabinets, and are complemented by found objects, vintage furniture and lighting to create a sense of a richly layered inner sanctum for the worldly gentleman.
Working with Edra from the start, Italian designer Francesco Binfaré has produced some of the brand's classics, including the recent Pack and Chiara sofa.